Private schools not so safe

Bangalore City

Parents are not sure that schools are safe after bomb threats

As the schools reopen for the new academic year on May 16, parents are sceptical about the safety of the children.

Sudhir Pattajoshi, a parent said that he was worried about sending his child to the exam centre after the bomb hoax. Jyotsana, another parent, said that this harms the children. “To begin with, it can greatly affect the innocent minds of little children. School ought to be the safest place for children after their home,” she added.

In April there were incidents around Bangalore where schools received an email with threats of bomb in the school premises. A report said that 16 private schools in Bangalore had received such emails.

The Karnataka Police said the bomb threat emails received by the schools is considered cyber terrorism.

A spokesperson from Ebenezer International School said, “We are taking  precautions to ensure that children feel safe in school. We have enhanced our firewalls so that the incident does not happen again. Along with this, we are going to work with cyber security experts and strengthen the security system. Parents do not need to worry about their children’s safety.”

Kiran, a primary teacher said, “Schools and parents need to work together for the safety of children. The school management should take measures to ensure the safety.”

Prasad, a cyber security expert, said that the cyber security measures in the schools are not up-to date. “Schools are generally are not high tech campuses like an Information Technology (IT) or Manufacturing companies. So the security is very minimal and as a result, schools become an easy target.”

The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report for 2021 shows that cyber terrorism is a big issue in the coming decade.

“Physical perimetric security or technological security is low in schools and they do not have specific expert staff on their own. Generally, such work is offloaded to external agencies where security can get compromised,” Prasad added.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations agency, in the Cybersecurity Index report  shows that India ranks tenth in cyber security with a score of 97 percent. India ranked fourth in the Asia-Pacific region.

In a report published by IBM’s X-force threat Intelligence team, India is the third most affected country, in cases of cyber attacks, after Japan and Australia.

Prasad explained that . people are unaware about the importance of checking information, and there is a lack of literacy and understanding about technical terms, this makes them easy targets for cybercriminals.

A survey conducted by Central Square Foundation states that around seven crore students are currently enrolled in private schools in India.